Hedge funds lost an average of 18% last year, but as markets fell to earth, the top 25 hedge fund managers each earned more than $75 million in pay, reports the New York Times. The most successful, James Simons of Renaissance Technologies, pulled in $2.5 billion, while George Soros took home $1.1 billion. Though the earnings equal only half of 2007's pool, the figures are stunning for a year in which so many investors pulled out.
Some of the hedge fund managers dispute the figures, which were gathered by the industry magazine Alpha, though none offered alternative values. But Washington is taking notice; just yesterday, Tim Geithner asked Congress to grant him greater powers to regulate hedge funds. One manager on the list defended his pay: "Wall Street should get paid only when they reward their clients. For every dollar we made, our clients earned multiples."